I know, if you have a pilot in your life then they probably already have it all: a smoking hot trophy wife/husband, a fast sports car, and a crippling circadian rhythm that never lets them sleep regularly. Luckily for you, I have 8 gift ideas that will be sure to make your pilot a Maverick this holiday season. 🤮
Number One: Aviator Glasses
Yeah, yeah, yeah—I know what you’re thinking: this one is obvious. Well, what if I told you about a fantastic pair of glasses that are a modern twist on the classic aviator that also happen to look good on everybody? And at $40, they cannot be beaten. Don’t believe me?
Introducing, The Emerson.
Number Two: iPad mini
Definitely on the expensive side but useful nonetheless. The iPad mini has really made a splash in the gear bag for pilots in the last few years as it’s simply the perfect size to sit on your kneeboard or on a stand in the cockpit and not block your view. With ForeFlight, Garmin Flight, and tons of weather apps, it’s no wonder why.
Number Three: Watches
Watches are the perfect gift for any pilot since every second counts when your alarm is about to go off for an early 5AM brief. Everyone knows the coolest pilot watch ever is the Rolex Pepsi—even Chuck Yeager would agree. But for those of us that can’t afford one, here are a few other options I like:
- Any Garmin watch (my favorite is the Instinct)
- Casio G-Shock
- Seiko Pilot
Number Four: A Great Book
But not just any book! My favorite “aviation geek” book I’ve read in the last year is The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell, a book with lots of different topics but primarily centered around the development of “bomber culture” in the US Air Force. The obstacles that were overcome, the inventions created to overcome them, and the leadership to guide it all are fascinating. Check out The Bomber Mafia on Amazon or anywhere they sell books.
Number Five: Audio Books
My favorite way to “read” books is actually to listen to them while running or driving to work and my favorite way to listen to them is Libby, a free app that lets you access your library’s audiobook licenses. However, if the book I want isn’t available (like Atomic Habits has been lately) then I love using Audible as a second option. Check out an Audible membership here!
Number Six: Portable Charger
There’s nothing worse than running out of battery on an out-and-in. With modern pilots relying on their iPads for approach plates, weather, and even radar, running out of battery can sometimes even result in a number to call from ATC. Avoid that with a portable charger.
Number Seven: Aviation-themed Home Decor
Everyone loves model airplanes but in today’s day and age, it’s time to step it up with some even cooler decorations. Altimeter wall clocks, 3D night lights, and airplane book ends are all sure to be hits with any aviation addict.
Number Eight: Aviation Headset
This one doesn’t really apply to me since in the military our helmets have our comm equipment built in, but from what I understand is critically important to those in the civilian world. Not sure which ones I would buy if I had to but there are probably plenty of options on Amazon.
Any one of those eight is sure to be a hit for the aviation enthusiast in your life. Let me know what you think and if there are any other suggestions that you think I should add!
Disclosure: some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. I will never recommend anything that wasn’t strongly recommended by readers or that I didn’t personally use.